51 Best ’80s Songs You Should Add to Your Playlist

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears

We may dismiss the ’80s as an era of musical cheese, light on substance and heavy on excess (turn up the treble!, more sax!, etc.). But the decade delivered some of music’s most emotional, teary moments, the more affecting for the fact that the vehicle is pop. This 1985 hit by Tears for Fears is one such a song, an existential meditation of sorts, opening with the line, “Welcome to your life—there’s no turning back.” It’s a serious pop song, as bassist-singer Curt Smith remarked: “It’s about everybody wanting power, about warfare and the misery it causes.”—Sophie Harris

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